Washington D.C. – Shepherd Chemical has won the 2016 Polyurethane Innovation Award for its BiCATs 8840 and 8842 water-stable bismuth catalysts for polyurethane formulations. The award was presented by the American Chemistry Council’s Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) at its annual technical conference, held this year in Baltimore.
“Shepherd’s novel application of polyurethane chemistry shows how our industry’s innovations can have ripple effects throughout the value chain,” said CPI senior director Lee Salamone. “This award-winning technology embodies the transformative power of polyurethanes.”
The winning catalysts enable formulators to reduce cure times for spray foam polyol solutions using hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) blowing agents, thus having a positive effect on their environmental impact. This compatibility with the new fourth-generation HFO blowing agents, such as Honeywell’s Solstice, is important as HFCs are phased out.
Metal catalysts are required with these newer blowing agents to react, catalyse and cure polyurethane spray foams. By using bismuth-based BiCATs, the additional environmental and regulatory issues that would arise from the use of mercury, lead or organotin catalysts are avoided.
BiCATs have negligible toxicity and very low levels of volatile organic compounds. Furthermore, they have a long shelf life, are highly reactive, give fast cure rates, and are water-soluble, with a very low free acidity, Shepherd said.
The other two finalists in the running for the award were Dow Polyurethanes, for its Vora Zzz ultra-high airflow and moisture wicking foam, and the Vitrox HC 98010 polyol with Suprasec 9801 isocyanate, a resin solution used in the chassis of the Bright Lite Structures’ Zenos E10 sports car.
“The Shepherd Chemical Company is thrilled to be recognized by CPI and the ACC as the recipient of the 2016 Polyurethane Innovation Award,” said Rob Hart, head of research and development at the Shepherd. “It is humbling to be selected as the awardee considering the impressive inventions introduced by Dow and Huntsman.”
Nominations for the 2017 award will begin in the spring.